One of the most commonly asked questions by business leaders is, what is the difference between life and executive coaching? The two coaching services have numerous differences, but take different approaches. Many coaching professionals also have a certified executive coach certification as part of their credentials.
In most cases, the best way to understand the two types of coaching is to start by defining the kind of coaching you need.
Evaluating the Different Types of Coaching
The most obvious difference between a life coach and an executive coach can be seen by looking at the areas they focus on. While, at the most basic level, both concentrate on improving different aspects of people’s lives, there are differences.
When you dig a little deeper, you will find that an executive coach primarily looks at a person’s professional life. They do this by focusing on specific attributes such as one’s leadership skills, stress management capabilities, and how their actions can affect their employees or staff members. Managers can also learn these skills and how to be an effective coach in the workplace.
On the other hand, a life coach’s duties tend to revolve around one’s personal life. A life coach focuses on improving relationships, personal objectives and goals, and barriers to living happily.
When you carefully look at these types of coaching, you will find they involve different processes and are enlisted in very different situations. For instance, when you look at life coaches, they tend to take on individual clients; in contrast, executive coaches are more likely to offer their services to businesses and corporate entities where they can assist their leaders in boosting their performance levels.
Differences Between a Life Coach and an Executive Coach
Although all forms of coaching share certain similarities, such as focusing on active listening abilities and self-awareness, there are some technical skills that executive coaches often use but life coaches don’t. This is something that is also true when looking at what a success coach is.
In most cases, executive coaches help corporate leaders improve their leadership styles–this gives them a clear understanding of how a leader is perceived when they carry out their duties. Coaches will conduct in-depth interviews with a client’s staff members or coworkers or use various scientific analysis techniques (such as personality assessments) to get the desired results.
Another important difference is that while life coaching tends to be all about working with an individual, executive coaching might start with one manager or leader and eventually move on to teams and groups.
Executive coaching is all about the person being trained and how they can achieve their organization’s overall goals and objectives. To measure the success of executive coaching, a baseline will be set before the process of coaching starts; with life coaching, the client defines their personal goals and objectives.
Even though there are clear differences between life and executive coaches, many experts believe that such distinctions are often less defined when put into practice. For instance, although executive coaching tends to focus more on leadership skills and improved workplace performance, many professionals in the industry still believe that improving these areas requires a certain level of introspection that can be derived from one’s personal life.
When it comes down to it, both methods of coaching revolve around making individuals better at what they do and how they do it. Additionally, many people find it difficult to separate their work and personal lives. If a leader is dealing with problems managing a new team, those problems could stem from challenges they could be facing in their personal life—and vice-versa.
This is why, when executive coaches are working with an individual on their goals and objectives, the process gradually extends to the leader’s personal life. To be effective, coaches need to know who they are dealing with personally and professionally if they want to tap into their full potential.
In the most basic terms, life and executive coaching practices are about helping people thrive and realize their full potential. The two coaching styles will always have more similarities than differences, especially when applied to real-world situations.